Heterogeneity in extracellular nucleotide hydrolysis among clinical isolates of Trichomonas vaginalis

T. Tasca, C. D. Bonan, G. A. De Carli, J. J.F. Sarkis, J. F. Alderete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasitic protozoan that causes trichomonosis, a sexually-transmitted disease, with serious sequelae to women and men. As the host-parasite relationship is complex, it is important to investigate biochemical aspects of the parasite that contribute to our understanding of trichomonal biology and pathogenesis. Nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase 1 (NTPDase 1), which hydrolyses extracellular ATP and ADP, and ecto-5′-nucleotidase, which hyrolyses AMP, have been characterized in laboratory isolates of T. vaginalis. Here we show that the extracellular ATP: ADP hydrolysis ratio varies among fresh clinical isolates, which presented higher ATPase and ADPase activities than long-term-grown isolates. Growth of parasites in iron-replete and iron-depleted medium resulted in different, albeit minor, patterns in extracellular ATP and ADP hydrolysis among isolates. Importantly, some isolates had low or absent ecto-5′-nucleotidase activity, regardless of environmental conditions tested. For isolates with ecto-5′-nucleotidase activity, high- and low-iron trichomonads had increased and decreased levels of activity, respectively, compared to organisms grown in normal TYM-serum medium. This suggests a regulation in expression of either the enzyme amounts and/or activity under the control of iron. Finally, we found no correlation between the presence or absence of dsRXA virus infection among trichomonad isolates and NTPDase and ecto-5′-nucleotidase activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Ecto-5′-nucleotidase
  • Fresh isolates
  • Heterogeneity
  • Nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase
  • Trichomonas vaginalis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Infectious Diseases


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